CHENNAI: Traffic and pedestrian movement in and around the Chennai Central Station will witness a sea change in the coming days with the implementation of a comprehensive plan. The plan is aimed at reducing the criss-cross movement inside the complex.
The plan, a rough version of which was explained by City Express a few months ago, envisages dedicated entry and exit points for pre-paid autos into the station, a separate premium parking for four-wheelers and a wide six-feet pedestrian pathway barricaded by a stainless steel grill.
The auto and taxi bays, borders for the premium car park and the stainless steel grill have already been put in place. Speaking to CE, auto drivers pointed out that this would facilitate smooth entry of autos as they could enter the station from the Poonamalee High Road side, pick up the passenger and exit from the rear side near the RPF outpost.
The barricaded pedestrian zone will also ensure that there will be no criss-cross movement by people walking in the path of vehicular traffic. This will come as a breather for both pedestrians and vehicles during the morning and evening peak hours when a number of long-distance and suburban trains arrive and depart.
However, there are still a few roadblocks to the complete implementation of this proposal. MTC buses entering Chennai Central, pass through a gap between the Metro Rail project on PH Road and the Chennai Central campus, grazing past the pre-paid auto stand and creating problems at the auto exit-way. The proposal wants the MTC buses to be re-routed through PH Road and enter Central only through the main entrance. “The city police said that they would need a little more time to carry out the change that would be in coordination with Chennai Metro Rail,” a Railway official said.
Another issue lies with the space allotted for premium and normal car parking. Southern Railway is currently in the process of floating tenders for these. Until then, the space is being used in an unregulated manner by cars, taxis and hawkers. Though ready, the barricaded pedestrian pathway has not yet been opened for public. It is currently a ‘hideout’ for stray dogs and the odd commuter relieving himself in the open. On Monday, a few auto drivers tested the auto bays and found that the individual bays weren’t wide enough. A few workers were seen breaking the existing bay and widening it on Tuesday. The official said that they were targeting January 1 for completion of the works.